Safe staffing for school nurses--ANA's adopts position statement.
A growing body of evidence supports positive links between school nurse availability and improved health, school attendance and performance among students. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough school nurses to care for the growing numbers of children with serious health problems. The current shortage of school nurses is due in large part to the lack of federal legislation mandating safe staffing plans and entry level requirements for school nurses. Although federal laws require that school districts provide services to students with special needs, they do not require that such services be provided by school nurses. Consequently, states show wide variations in school nurse-student ratios and many states resort to the use of unlicensed personnel (e.g., school secretaries, attendants, assistants) to provide health care services.
The American Nurses Association (ANA), along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NASN and several state organizations, recommends a minimum school nurse: student ratio of 1:750 for general school populations. Many states stipulate more stringent ratios for students with complex health care needs requiring frequent interventions. The central premise for recommending these ratios is that students have a right to safe, high quality health care while in the school setting. The registered school nurse is the health care professional best suited to providing and coordinating the full range of health care services for student populations.
For those who either function in this role or who have children in K-12 educational programs, you may want to view ANA's recently adopted position statement on School nursing for children in these educational settings. See our position statement on the web site: www.nursingworld.org
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|Title Annotation:||ANA News; American Nurses Association|
|Date:||Aug 1, 2008|
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